Saturday, July 31, 2010

free burma rangers.

Waking up every morning to have coffee overlooking miles of palm forest, sun glinting off a thirsty lake, horses rolling around a soccer field and a gentle haze of Thai steam rising off the mud is one of the most peaceful ways to begin a day. And then the hurricane that is the Eubank family hits.
The Eubanks were kind enough to host us on their massive ranch outside of Chiang Mai, and this is what you get with your morning coffee if you stay with this generous family: detailed conversation regarding whether or not the term "genocide" is correct for the Burmese political situation, slide shows of children who have been shot, and stories of land mines and dying babies and incredible courage. But it's all in a day's work for Dave, who runs what is quite possibly the most intense operation I have ever seen in real life.

The Free Burma Rangers is a covert (ie. illegal) guerrilla relief and humanitarian force aiding refugees fleeing the Burmese Army. It's hardcore relief work that runs like the army, if the army operated with the ends of wholeness and healing. It has succeeded in creating a network of radios that inform villagers of pending attacks so they can escape, but also so world news sources can stay up to date on situations that the Burmese government would otherwise never give them access to. It's dangerous work, and the strength it requires for them to work daily with 5 year old gunshot victims and 8 year old rape victims and murdered infants is honestly beyond me.
When the family isn't on the ground in Burma, they use their home in Thailand as Grand Central Station (to paint a picture, we shared a visit with a British couple and their two tiny boys who run a development program in Afghanistan; an MIT grad student who does communications work for FBR, an FBR soldier on injured reserve, and next week a California Congressman is on his way with a delegation. Quiet? Never). And although it would be more simple and peaceful to watch The View with your morning caffeine, there is something so encouraging and strengthening about spending time with people who have deep faith and who are passionate-- for excellence, for love, for justice and for others-- that a few days hearing some of the darkest stories in the universe somehow wound up feeling like a bigger story of hope being woven throughout hopelessness.

Here's the FBR website, which can explain this incredible project better than I:

No comments: